WV Supreme Court: Mountain Valley Pipe Can’t Survey w/o Permission

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Mountain Valley Pipeline route – click for larger version

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. The project, which filed an official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October 2015, is being built by EQT, NextEra Energy and several other partners (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Files FERC Appl, Now Just Matter of Time). In order to build the pipeline, you first have to survey the route. Landowners in both West Virginia and Virginia have resisted, forcing the project to go to court to try and force recalcitrant landowners to allow a survey. In April 2015 Mountain Valley sued WV landowners (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Sues 103 WV Landowners for Survey Access). In March 2016, Mountain Valley won a lawsuit in Virginia (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Wins Right to Survey in VA w/o Permission). However, the WV lawsuit has ground on with appeals. Finally it reached the WV Supreme Court and yesterday the court ruled–in favor of landowners, disallowing survey access for the project (see a copy of the 31-page opinion below). Which is interesting. This decision sets up a potential Constitutional crises…

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